Spending quality vacation time with the children are godsend. It’s fun to take adventures together. Down the road, these moments can become one of defining moments of their childhood.
Family holidays are extra special because traveling can help form a kid’s character and help them have a wider perspective of the world and at the same time, family holidays are special time to recharge and strengthen the family bond.
Traveling with kids can be fun but can be a true test of patience. Imagine listening to hundred voices demanding for your attention and when they get silent; you think something went wrong. You’ll never know when your toddler is going to have his tantrums, so come prepared.
Prepare together. Initially, this might be counter intuitive but letting your kids decide which items to bring along can be beneficial. Children need to know that you can’t possibly pack all their favorite toys, so they need to choose carefully. By letting them decide which ones to bring, they can’t pull a tantrum if they ask a different toy during travel.
Plan your travel flight itinerary carefully. Travel in the morning, as early as possible. Flights are generally less crowded very early in the morning. Taking the early morning flights allows kids to sleep through the flight since they are usually asleep during these times. Seat the children in window seats or away from the aisles.
Bring the iPad. Anything beyond 3 hours flight is simply going to make your kids bored. Make sure that you have downloaded all the games and activities that you know your children will enjoy and will keep them occupied. Arrange beforehand if they have games request or movies they like to watch while in-flight.
Bring snacks. Ask the kids what snacks they’d like to munch on while traveling. Stay away from sweets, if you can, as this might get them overly energetic. But pack sweets just the same, as a last resort should they have a meltdown. Fruits are okay. Let them take a bite moments before take off so they will be chewing during the ascent. Chewing and swallowing will lessen the effect of air pressure during take-off.
Bring surprises. When iPad fails to entertain the young ones, you can pull out a surprise package. The surprise can be their favorite sweet you told them you couldn’t bring or one of their favorite toy that they know you didn’t bring. You can wrap them with decorative paper with a ribbon. You can also give these out periodically during travel as incentives for good behavior.
Pictures of the places you’re going to visit. You can print out the pictures of the places you’ll be visiting, arrange them into mini files and give these to the kids. Pictures are especially effective if you are going to Disney Theme Parks or Universal Studio Theme Parks. You can print a map together with the pictures so that in case they ask, “are we near?” you can point your current location to your target location.
You can’t accurately predict a child’s behavior, especially during traveling. Most of the time, they start a tantrum when things are not going according to their expectation or if they are hungry. Months before the family holiday, have the kids verbalize their wants and explain to them why some of them can’t be had. Give them positive reinforcement for good behavior, as this will motivate them to behave.